Did you know that August is National Breastfeeding Month? While breastfeeding has its advantages, it can certainly be a tedious process. Breastfeeding preferences can differ from mother to mother, so it is imperative to identify the system that works best for you and your baby.
Whether your first time is a breeze or a struggle, there is a learning curve for each new baby. When getting started, the more you know about how to position your baby, how to know your baby is getting enough milk and when you know it’s time for another meal, the more your confidence will build as a new breastfeeding mother.
When Your Milk Comes In
Breast milk arrives in three stages: colostrum, transitional milk and mature milk. Each of these varying stages of breastmilk development are designed to suit your baby’s age, making it the perfect food from the first day to long after.
In the beginning, it might be difficult to try to get your baby into the right position — but keep trying. One of our best tips is to aim your nipple just above your baby’s top lip while making sure your baby’s chin isn’t tucked into their chest, this is one of the most ideal positions for feeding. Your medical provider will likely teach you the basic latching positions.
There is a variety of information that exists on how long each breastfeeding session should be, however, it is completely up to you and your baby to decide. When starting the breastfeeding process, let your baby take their time and expect feedings to be long initially.
Feeding babies when they’re hungry, rather than on a schedule, is ultimately best for breastfeeding success. However, since babies are not born hungry, their appetite is typically made known on the third day.
A newborn should have at least eight to 12 feedings every 24 hours for the first few weeks. This means that new mothers should be nursing every two to three hours.
One of the best ways to master breastfeeding timing for you and your baby is to learn your baby’s hunger cues. Although tears may be a clear indicator of hunger, do not wait for your baby to cry. This can create unwanted stress for baby and mother, and disrupt your new breastfeeding schedule.
Looking for additional support in your breastfeeding journey? Reach out to an experienced lactation expert, or get connected with our Healthy Start program to gain access to breastfeeding toolkits and to learn more about resources available in your area.